Programme to keep Track of Migrant Labourers launched

Koraput, Nov 03: In an attempt to check human trafficking in the state, Koraput district administration in Odisha has launched a programme to keep track of migrants, travelling to other states for work.

The programme aims at protecting labourers entrapped by unauthorised agents and will ensure that they are not harassed at workplace, official sources said today.

"Agents lure youths to work at distant places, promising attractive salary and a better life. In majority of cases, they are harassed and return home with diseases", said Koraput district collector, Yamini Sarangi.

The programme was launched on a pilot basis in collaboration with voluntary organisation Sova in Koraput, Jeypore, Pottangi, Nandapur, Lamataput and Kotpad blocks.

The Collector said since most migration cases were reported from these blocks, the administration decided to take them up in the first phase and the remaining nine blocks would be covered in the second phase.

Village level workers will be provided forms, which labourers are required to fill up with details about the labour agent. "We will prepare a database of the migrants. Rural job schemes like MGNREGS will be strengthened in areas where people migrate to other states for work", she added.

According to an estimate, around 8,000 to 10,000 labourers from the district leave for Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gujarat and Raipur to work at construction sites and brick kilns between September and May every year.

"As the district shares border with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, unscrupulous agents lure youths with a dream of working in big cities", said secretary of Sova Sanjit Patnaik.

"In 80 percent cases, labourers are harassed and tortured at their work place with extra working hours and no or less wages," he added.

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